Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli has finally won the toss as he opted to bowl gainst the defending champions Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 season opener at Chepauk in Chennai.
RCB have handed three debuts as Australia all-rounder Glenn Maxwell, New Zealand all-rounder Kyle Jamieson, and young Indian batsman Rajat Patidar were named in the playing XI, along with Dan Christian while Devdutt Padikkal missed out. Mumbai Indians also handed debuts to Australia opener Chris Lynn and South Africa pacer Marco Jensen. Quinton de Kock, being in quarantine missed out on the opening game of the season.
Lynn has played 41 IPL matches in all for 1280 runs at a strike rate of around 140 and was picked by Mumbai Indians last season. However, he did not get a chance in the XI. While Maxwell has been a regular in the IPL, Jamieson and Patidar are playing their first IPL game.
Defending champions Mumbai Indians are eyeing to complete a hat-trick of IPL titles while Virat Kohli-led RCB are yet to win a title after playing all the 13 seasons of the tournament so far.
"Would've fielded first as well. But as a team, we've batted well over the years. Nothing different for us. Bat well in the powerplay and set the game up for the big hitters. The entire square has been changed. Recently played a couple of Tests. Need to do what we do as a team, put our best foot forward. For us it's a fresh year, don't need to look at what's happened in the past. Fresh year, new faces as well. Important for us to start well which we haven't done in this tournament. The last game we played was a final in Dubai. Got only two changes from that lineup. Quinny is in quarantine, so he isn't available. Lynn will make a debut. And we have a six-foot-eight-inch South African, Marco Jensen," Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma said.— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) April 9, 2021
"It's unbelievable, bit of a mini-break helped me I guess to win a toss. Going to bowl first. They're a side who likes chasing. Good chance for us to get onto the park and create some intensity. With the balance we have this year we can do both, but have to understand who you're playing against. We understand with the depth they have never out of the game. Bowling first was a no-brainer for us. Every year IPL has a different energy, a different vibe. It's high intensity. Playing for the same franchise has been an honor for me. Loyalty is a big thing for me. Dubai was great as well, but this just feels like home. It's a great feeling to be playing in our stadiums and for people to watch in our prime times. Three guys making their debut: Maxwell, Jamieson, Christian is back after eight years for the same franchise. Rajat Patidar makes his debut as well. Padikkal has been recommended rest," Royal Challengers Bangalore Virat Kohli said.